Well now. Florida State University is apparantly miffed at the new ACC television deal with ESPN. On the surface it looks like a pretty sweet deal, but a member of FSU's board of trustees doesn't like the fact that the ACC sold off its third tier football rights to the World Wide Leader but kept the option for basketball third tier rights.
That makes a prominant football member like Florida State upset. It shows them that the ACC ... as has been long thought ... cares about *gasp* basketball. Now those rumors of the Noles heading to the Big 12 has gained some more traction.
But is that a bad thing for the ACC?
First off, the ACC does care a great deal about basketball -- probably more than most of the other conferences. However, the league has basically bent over backwards for football stability. FSU was added over 20 years ago to become the face of the league in football. Then a decade ago, the ACC upset the balance of college conference stability by plucking Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College from the Big East and putting into motion this massive movement. The hoops fanbase has scoffed at these moves as they have totally changed the dynamic of basketball.
Just ask NC State how it will feel to only play North Carolina once a season in hoops.
Ahhhhhh, the other complaint. The ACC loves the North Carolina schools. Yes, yes they do. Like I said, basketball is a big deal in the ACC and North Carolina and Duke run that end of the biz.
So if Florida State left the ACC, what would that mean for the league? Good or bad?
Of course you don't want to see any team leave your league. If that happened, the ACC would join the list of the Big East and Big 12 as major leagues to lose teams and that's not a position you want to be in from a public relations standpoint. It would also loosen up the ACC for more pilfering. Does Maryland move to the Big Ten? Does Clemson join FSU in the Big 12? Does Miami and/or Virginia Tech then bolt to make the Big 12 a 14-member league?
All those things could happen ... but that may not be a bad thing. Could that mean the ACC then throws all their chips in for basketball and not care about football as much? May be since the new football playoff system has gotten rid of those "Automatic Qualifier" monikers for BCS leagues. No offense, but since the expansion to 12-teams hasn't really netted the league much. No one has really been a title contender and the ACC champion has been getting embarrassed in the BCS bowls. Those epic Miami-Florida State championship games we were dreaming of? Hasn't happened.
So let 'em go. Then build your basketball model. Do what you do best and just steal more Big East schools. UConn has wanted badly to be in the ACC. So has Rutgers. Maybe the ACC could then convince Notre Dame to join in if they didn't require them to be a football member.
While a football league wouldn't look that outstanding, the hoops side will be epic. Remember that Pitt and Syracuse will be joining the league soon and the ACC certainly didn't do that for their football programs (well, not totally like they did with Miami and Va Tech).
Maybe that's getting to far ahead of ourselves. Maybe it will be more of a simple thing. Florida State leaves for the Big 12 and maybe they go get Louisville and leave the other ACC schools alone. I'm sure the ACC would then go after UConn and fill in the slot. Even if the ACC lost two more schools like Clemson and Miami or Virginia Tech, they'd still be a 12-team league as they are before Syracuse and Pitt join.
Whatever happens, it won't be the end of the league by any stretch.